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Gloucestershire Business News

BREAKING NEWS: Rishi Sunak to be new UK Prime Minister

The majority of Gloucestershire's MPs backed the right horse as Rishi Sunak won the race to become the UK's next Prime Minister.

Penny Mordaunt dramatically dropped out of the race "for the good of the nation" just minutes before nominations were due to close at 2pm today. She said she was proud of the campaign she ran but Mr Sunak had her full support.

The ex-Chancellor gained the support of well over half of Tory MPs, with Mordaunt struggling to reach the 100 MP threshold.

Mr Sunak had said he was standing as PM to fix a "profound economic crisis" as well as unite his party.

On Sunday current Chancellor Jeremy Hunt backed him, saying he would make the "choices necessary for our long-term prosperity".

Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, Gloucester MP Richard Graham, Stroud MP Siiobhan Baillie and Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper have all publicly backed Mr Sunak.

It is not known who Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson supported, having publicly backed Ms Truss in the previous contest. Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, who is a member of the 1922 Committee, has also not made his allegiance public.

Mr Chalk tweeted this morning: "I'm proud to be supporting @RishiSunak today. I came into Parliament with him, and I know he has the brains, integrity, stamina and judgement to be our Prime Minister."

Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper, talking to GB News this morning, said of Mr Sunak: "He's been clear that if he were to become Prime Minister his job is to stabilise the economy and get us back on track economically. He's been clear that he would implement the manifesto on which we were elected in 2019. We have a parliamentary democracy. That's the basis on which we were elected and that's the basis on which we would govern.

"The first task of Rishi Sunak, if he becomes Prime Minister, is to think about the country ahead of the party and govern in the national interest. But in order to do that he needs to make sure he can command the support from across the Conservative Party.

"I've been very heartened to see the breadth of support from colleagues right across the party. He's made it clear that if he were to become PM he would appoint a broad-based cabinet that draws on all the traditions of the Conservative Party which I think is what prime ministers are wise to do so that we can all work together to focus on the issues the public want us to deal with."

Mr Graham, speaking to Punchline-Gloucester.com on Friday, said he was backing Rishi Sunak all the way.

He said: "His analysis of the economy and the situation and what we needed to do in the summer was absolutely correct. He's played it completely straight with absolutely no comment in public and no undermining in private of Prime Minister Liz Truss's efforts to ramp forward a sort of growth programme while having real concerns of what that would mean and he's there ready and waiting for us.

"I very much hope my colleagues will see that and we have Rishi as our new Prime Minister as soon as possible."

Mr Sunak is the UK's first British-Asian Prime Minister. His parents were immigrants but he was born in the UK and he is a practising Hindu.

At 42 years old, Mr Sunak is set to be the youngest Prime Minister the UK has ever seen. David Cameron and Tony Blair both took power aged 43.

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